Thursday, November 29, 2012

Choping wood

Heating oil is expensive here...$ 4.19 per gallon  or so.

That's why many chop wood.

As winter arrives, we are ready.
Here's a neighbor's yard:

He prefers to keep the logs round till it's time to quarter them for the stove.

I like mine already quartered;
don't want to go outside to split wood when I'm cold!

Its not quite ready yet.

It might seem like its time to go ice skating.

But a little thinness is seen in the middle.

Better to wait till after Christmas...or hope for colder weather.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Playing in the snow

Have you noticed, that when the weather gets cold,
some people like to sit on the covered porch and watch

while others just jump right into it and play ?

And they are as-happy-as-can-be, no matter what the weather is !


Monday, November 26, 2012

Saturday's skies

Saturday morning's skies turned colorful,
after the recent snows.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday's rumble

While some of you were out fighting the crowds,
many of us in Kodiak went out to experience a different type of rumble.

The seas were rough, left over from recent storms.

Take a look at the rocks below.
The smaller, closer rocks is where I've shown you pictures of our seals from our kayak.
The larger rocks in the background stick up about 30 feet above sea level.

See how high those breaking waves can get?

Enough to cover those 30 feet rocks!

Darn powerful they are!
And a lot more fun to watch than the fights at Black Friday's check out lines.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why do our bears raid the Food Bank?

You know the answer to that riddle.

We continue to have a lot of bear activity this year.  1/3 of our bears don't hibernate in winter 'cause it's relatively "warm" here and there has always been food for them all year long. We'll talk more about what's different  this year towards the end of the blog.

But, seems like one couldn't find anything good in the dumpster,
so it tried to check out the Food Bank just before Thanksgiving.

Fortunately the window it broke was too small for him to crawl through.
But they have concern 'cause the entrance doors are of glass.

His tracts were seen across form the hospital this week end.

And I saw new tracts by St Mary's again.

...almost big enough for me to put both of my boots in this imprint!

Here is some of what they are trying to do to discourage bear visits:

Removing or turning  some of the dumpsters upside down so they can't be used at locations busy with bear activity.

And the police and State Troopers try to scare them away with noise and rubber bullets.
But some one wrote that there had been so much activity that they had run of of those non-lethal rubber bullets. Fortunately no killing of bears have yet occurred, since the first article we mentioned about a month ago.

Anyway, last year the city council changed the trash collection system form dumpsters to trash cans, inside city limits. But those trash cans sit out all over town form the time they are put out in front of all the homes till the truck comes  pick it up. It sure seems a lot easier for a 500-1,000 pound bear to get things out of small trash cans than climbing into a 5 foot high dumpster. There was never so much bear activity in town till after this change.  The change is a heated item of discussion!

PS, the article about target practice in the paper had nothing to do with bears. It's about parents teaching kids all about guns. But I know that lots of houses have their 3 inch slugs loaded in their shotgun.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Merry Thanksgiving

We know it is only Thanksgiving.

But it has been looking a lot like Christmas around here.

So, should we compromise and say,

"Merry Thanksgiving" ?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A walk with LRR

Sunday we went out to Near Island. It's a small island connected to the city by a bridge. The walk is real nice and peaceful. It's protected from the wind by other nearby islands. And bears don't seem to ever go there.

Here's a view of Kodiak form Near Island

Best if all, its a great place to let you blood pressure rest a little.

Maybe that's why I kept seeing this person here and on  the prior day's walk to the cape.

Do you think, maybe she was Little Red Ridinghood ?

Monday, November 19, 2012

How big are these bears ?

How big are these Kodiak bears, that are trapezing through our city?

No, this is not a Photo shop trick.
He's big enough to make you careful when you go on a hike.

It seems this guy likes "going to church", over at St. Mary's

and they captured him on the automatic camera during one of his night visits.

But church wasn't open for him, so off he went elsewhwere,
probably for a little snack instead.,
'cause the bigger you are, the hungrier you get!



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Watching where you step

It's been a little icy.

So, you'd better mind your step
 or you'll slip and slide, like this poor fellow did.
 And if you are a smart one, you'd put your cleats on,
even if they don't make you look too kool !

Friday, November 16, 2012

Big Foot lives !

This pic was taken at the Frame Shop this morning.

 Did you notice:

1) The width of that footprint is WIDER than the width of a car tire.

2) The length of that print is TWICE as long as the width of a car tire.

3) The depth of the impression on the snow is much deeper by the footprint than by the car tire.
Makes me think it that if it stepped on you, it would be more pounds per square inch than a car!

Anyway, looks like one of our Big Foot bears was visiting neighbors last night.

And, in case you are wondering where these guys have been sited, here is today's paper info: :

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A "peaceful" walk

We tried going for a walk this weekend.
They say it's good to control your pressure.

Thought we'd take the dog to the leash-free area around Ft Abercrombie
(the brown colored part of the map).

 But a little sign made us return

and read the sign we'd seen below the map.

Well, if you're in Kodiak, you just learn to live with it.

So we took the cliff-side trail, where it's a little clearer with less trees.
Just watch your feet as you approach the edge,
'cause the moss underneath can let you slip.

Enjoy the views and the fresh sea air upon your face.

And when the dog suddenly stops and sniffs the air,
you stop and look around,
to confirm nothing is standing there waiting for you.
Just hope your dog doesn't is not inclined to bark and chase any animal happening by.

After all, you are in THEIR neighborhood.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dogs are not always your best friends.

We like dogs in Kodiak. You always see one in the back of a pick-up truck or inside a car as you walk throught the Wal Mart parking lot. (No, we don't worry about them overheating inside a car). And we do take them on all our hikes. But sometimes that is not a good idea, as this article by Nicole Klauss in the Kodiak Daily News recently reminded us.

"A Kodiak man who was bitten on his foot by a bear survived the incident by playing dead.

The man was walking a friend's dog in the area between Swampy Acres and Lake Catherine on Tuesday afternoon when he stumbled upon a sow and two cubs 20 feet ahead of him.

The man’s identity could not be confirmed by press time.

"It sounded like initially the bear started going the other direction, but the dog decided it wanted to sniff the cubs, and the mama bear didn't think that was something that she wanted to happen," said Larry Van Daele, regional wildlife supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

When the dog ran back to the man, the bear ran after the dog. As soon as the man saw the bear, he rolled up in a ball and played dead.

"It was the right thing to do," Van Daele said.

The bear reportedly grabbed the man's foot and pulled him a little bit, then checked on her cubs. When she came back to the man, she sniffed his head, bit his foot and ran off. The dog was on scene and barking the whole time, Van Daele said.

Van Daele said this was a worst-case scenario because the bears were likely unaware there were people around.

"It was a surprise because the wind was blowing so neither knew the other was there," he said. "From the description I heard, the bear had started to go the other way and would have gone off."

Van Daele said the bear has not been marked for death because it was an accidental encounter.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game discussed the incident with the Alaska State Troopers, Kodiak Police Department and the Coast Guard Military Police to determine whether or not the bear was dangerous.

"We all feel this was a surprise encounter and the bear acted defensively," Van Daele said. "If she would have charged him aggressively and if it had been a more severe mauling, then we would consider it one that crossed the line. All things considered it sounds like she did the right thing and he did the right thing, and they lived to tell about it."

Signs have been posted around the area warning people of the attack. Van Daele said the bear and her cubs should be heading to their den for winter soon, but there is still a chance she could be around the area.

"Fortunately, no one was hurt severely," he said."

Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at
Read more: Kodiak Daily Mirror - Kodiak man bitten by bear

Maybe this is what the happy twins and mom looked like, before being rudely interrupted by that barking dog.

What would your mom have done if a dog came to bother her "babies" ?